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Getting Cozy with vampires

Photo by Rachelle Klemme Kelsi Vorderbruggen and Sydney Mohs stake a comfortable place in line while Kim Karnes and Crystal Pollock avoid the sunlight during the long wait for vampire pic "Eclipse." They were the first four "Twilight" fans to wait in line for the film's midnight showing.

Local "Twihards," or the diehard fans of the popular and polarizing "Twilight" series, got what they have been waiting for since November.

"The Twilight Saga: Eclipse," the movie based on Stephanie Meyer's vampire romance book of the same name, is the third film in the series, but the first to have a summer opening night. For obvious reasons, the northern Minnesota fandom rejoiced.

Campers started to gather outside the Wadena Cozy Theatre early in the afternoon, enjoying the sun and giggling in anticipation.

Because of cold weather, the line did not form as early for the previous film, "New Moon." Even then, the November midnight show sold out.

"We had some issues with the last midnight show," said theatre owner David Quincer. "Some of the behavior of the kids wasn't good." The "New Moon" frenzy prompted him to pre-sell tickets for the first time for "Eclipse" on Tuesday, guaranteeing a seat for moviegoers who showed up early.

Still, Quincer said, despite holding tickets which guaranteed them a seat, some fans were pushing each other at the door.

Half of the tickets were gone by late afternoon, and the midnight show nearly sold out with only nine seats left. With the large 3D screen needed for "Toy Story 3," "Eclipse" is playing on a smaller screen with only about 170 seats. Quincer said the film will run for three weeks at the Cozy and he encouraged moviegoers to show up later on when it isn't nearly so crowded.

"I don't quite understand what the allure is," Quincer admitted. "To me it's just another movie really ... but for whatever reason it's struck a chord with young people, especially young girls ... and their mothers."

"You relate to it," explained "Twilight" fan Kelsi Vorderbruggen. She and her friends enjoy the films for being faithful to the supernatural romance of the books.

"Eclipse" broke the record for midnight openings at more than $30 million, according to Brandon Gray of "New Moon" itself had held the previous record at $26.3 million.